Wednesday, July 26, 2023

Wednesday 26 July

 Today was a rather slow day as far as surgery goes. I did a small hydrocele this morning and this afternoon a small lipoma excision. Since there was not a lot going on in the operating room I had a chance to get out a little and ride around on the bicycle. Here are some of the sights I saw today.

Ladies out weeding the farm

A sign that it took me a while to understand. I could 
never figure out what "Licensed Over" meant. Then
I figured out I needed to read the second line along
with the first.

The missionary couple here has a civet cat that they
got from the local chief because he did not know what 
to do with it. I had heard that it was pretty fierce
but it appeared calm to me and is a pretty animal.

Tomorrow looks like it might be slow also, but one can never tell. There is only one hernia scheduled but there is a good chance that there will be emergencies.

Monday, July 24, 2023

A New Week

We woke up to a rainy day today after rain most of the night. As this is farming season, people are happy for the rain.

I did not have any elective cases but did have 2 emergency cases. The first was a little 3-year-old who had a typhoid intestinal perforation. I did a laparotomy and oversewed the hole. Hopefully he will do well. There is about a 25% mortality rate.

The second case was late this afternoon. A 70+ year old woman with an incarcerated inguinal hernia. I can assure you, you do not want to see pictures from that case. She had a small loop of necrotic bowel and needed to have that part removed. We resected the dead bowel and then joined the two ends back together.

I don't have any pictures of the patients or the cases but here is one of me getting ready to do the incarcerated hernia.


Saturday, July 22, 2023


 Well, it has been several days since I posted anything, but that doesn't mean nothing has been going on. In fact, the reason for not posting is that I have been fairly busy and too tired at night to post. Or the electricity has been off and there has not been internet.

Today I thought I would just take it easy. Went up to the hospital to check on post-op cases and most seem to be doing well.

                                             Female surgical ward. These are post op patients.

After rounds we all went to Nakpanduri to visit Denise KlienDowell. She is an old friend and a very interesting lady. She is an American who was in the Peace Corps in the '70s. She married a Dutch Catholic brother here in Ghana and they spent the next nearly 50 years promoting tree planting. John, her husband died a few years ago and she has stayed on carrying on with the tree planting project. But she has been a help and blessing to many people over the years. She helps people get help from specialists for various problems and raises donkeys to give to people to help them have a source of income.


                                                                Denise (taken last year)

                                              Denise, my sister Cherry and Elisabeth outside

                                             Denise's house today

Denise lives in Nakpanduri on the edge of the Gambaga Escarpment. So part of the reason for going there today was to see the sights. It is a beautiful place and we always enjoy visiting there. When I was a child we went there for picnics and when our children were young Denise had a big Easter Egg hunt and cookout for all the missionaries in the area.


                                                      View from top of the escarpment                                              

                                               View from below on bridge over White Volta

While we were in Nakpanduri I got a call from the doctor on call about a young child that might need surgery, asking me to check on him. When we got home, I went up to the hospital and sure enough he needed surgery pretty urgently. Was very sick and weak. But it took several hours to get everything lined up to do the case and it was around 5 PM before we started. It was a case of small bowel perforation due to typhoid and I closed the perforation and cleaned out the abdomen. Hopefully, he will recover and do OK. Only 3 years old and had been sick for a couple of weeks.

Tuesday, July 18, 2023

Long Day Today

 Today was a long day. Well, still 24 hours long, but there was a lot going on and it started early and ended  late.

This is the main operating room and I started there this morning. I was at the hospital around 7AM hoping to get an early start on cases. But things don't always go as planned (in fact, rarely do they go as planned). I finally started about 8.

Finished the first case around 9:15 (I am getting slower in my old age, I guess). Then I went with Elisabeth to a village about 4 miles from (6.5 km) from the hospital.

We rode in another yellow-yellow. It cost less than $4. We went with the teacher who runs a school there. We have been helping him build better classrooms so we wanted to see how things are going. He has been doing well and his students are doing well after finishing.

The new classroom block.

One of the classrooms.

Another classroom

Classroom of younger kids

                                                      The old classroom block still being used

After returning from the school, I did another case before lunch and then returned after lunch to do 4 more cases, including an emergency laparotomy for SB perforation due to typhoid. FInally got home for supper at 7 PM.

Sunday, July 16, 2023

Sunday in Nalerigu

 Today we rode to church in a Yellow-Yellow, listened to a sermon about what God requires of us and then visited an old friend whose wife just died. Salifu Danse worked with my dad and other missionaries around the time the hospital opened in 1958.

                                Yellow-Yellow taxi service.

                                               Church service today

                                              Salifu Danse with Elisabeth. He is almost blind
                                               but mind still sharp. He asked about all of my
                                               siblings including those who have not been in
                                               Ghana since the 1970's.

After lunch and a short nap I went to the hospital to do another laparotomy on a young girl for a perforated small bowel secondary to typhoid. She is pretty sick so we pray she will do well.

Saturday, July 15, 2023

2023 Visit

 Elisabeth and I are back at Baptist Medical Centre in Nalerigu, Ghana. The place has changed so much over the past few years. Nalerigu is now regional capital. It looks more like a small city/big town now. One of my sisters came with us. She was working here also as a public health nurse before going to Niger where she worked for almost 20 years.

I am here to help fill in for Dr. Heidi Haun who has gone with her family to a meeting and then vacation. I cannot replace her, but hopefull can help out a little surgically. 

We arrived here in Nalerigu yesterday (Friday 14 July) in time for a late lunch. It was a long and tiring trip so we have spent most of today resting. I did go to the hospital to see what is going on up there. They showed me a little girl who needed surgery and I did that this afternoon. She had a perforation of the small bowel due to typhoid.

I will try to write updates here as often as I can. And hopefully post some pictures. I am also posting on Instagram

Friday, June 19, 2015


There are a lot of new buildings and additions being put up around here. Here are a few pictures of some of what is going on.

New Administrative block and outpatient department. It has taken 4 years to get to this point.

Addition to maternity.

Another view of maternity addition

Inside new maternity addition

Things are always changing, but there are still lots of people coming to be treated and lots of needs.